A simple guide to charging an EV

Do you have an electric vehicle or are you thinking of getting one? If so, that’s great news – for you, your bank balance and the planet

Making the shift to electric does mean doing things a bit differently. We may not enjoy our regular trips to the forecourt, but we are familiar with them – it’s the only way to fuel a conventional car, after all. With charging electric vehicles it’s different because most charging happens while the driver is at home. It’s more akin to keeping your mobile phone charged. (And much cheaper and more convenient than standing on a forecourt holding a fuel nozzle!).

The different types of charging can feel complicated at first – but in fact it’s very simple and breaks down into three main groups:

BASE CHARGING – this is the EV owner’s main type of charging and is done when the car is parked at a particular location for an extended period of time – usually at home or at work. There are five main ways to do this:

Home charging: this is when the EV driver is able to install a charge point at their home – it’s the most common form of charging. Get home, plug in, go inside and forget it. Currently 87% of charging is carried out at home.

Community charging: this is where Co Charger comes in! It connects motorists living in flats and terraces who can’t charge at home (‘Chargees’) with neighbours who have a charger on their drive (‘Hosts’). The Co Charger app handles the ‘matchmaking’, bookings and payments enabling motorists to have the closest possible experience to home charging.

Workplace charging: If you work somewhere that has charge points available for staff to use then this can be your main source of charging.

Kerbside charging: There are many different types of public chargers being built next to roads in residential areas. Some are free-standing, some are built into lamp posts, and some even pop up out of the pavement.

Mobile charging: Some companies have mobile vans that can come and charge your car when it’s parked outside your home.

ROUTE CHARGING – so you’re going on a business trip or holiday, visiting relatives or attending a wedding hundreds of miles away. Just as with a fossil fuel car you’re going to have to stop to “fill up” along the way. Although this type of charging is given a lot of attention, most of us don’t make these long journeys very often – only 3% of EV charging is of this type. The chargers are fast but usually more expensive, and different cars can charge at different speeds.

DESTINATION CHARGING – Maybe you’re off to the supermarket or the swimming pool – or perhaps the cinema or gym. Increasingly, these locations are installing EV chargers, enabling you to ‘top up’ when you’re out and about. On longer trips, plugging in while at your destination can save the bother of stopping to charge on the way home.